State Senator Calls For State Of Emergency In St. Louis

Jamilah Nasheed says Gov. Parson needs to respond to "epidemic of gun violence."

Brett Blume
June 27, 2018 - 2:39 pm
Democratic State Senator Jamilah Nasheed

Kevin Killeen/KMOX

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Dismayed by the ever-rising murder rate, a state senator from St. Louis is calling for action from Jefferson City.

Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) has sent a letter to Gov. Mike Parson asking him to declare a state of emergency in the state's largest city.

"We had two murders in one day," she recalled, talking about Monday when she decided to make her request of the governor. "We had a shooting the same day in broad daylight. That's a crisis!"

Nasheed said she's not looking for armed National Guard troops on every corner of the city.

"We don't want military forces on our grounds here," she explained. "We want more resources, because when you have a state of emergency, the governor doesn't have to wait on legislators to implement resources."

She suggested that St. Louis residents are "sick and tired" of waking up to gunshots, and backed that up with input she gleaned from her second annual Get On The Bus tour on Wednesday, in which she rode a Metro bus route for several hours and talked with constituents about their concerns.

She asked them what they would tell one of their governmental representatives was the most critical problem in St. Louis.

"Guess what they said?" she asked. "They said 'crime,' they said 'gang-banging' and 'drug dealing.' We have a problem and we need to begin wrapping our heads around the issues that are impacting our city so that we can change the dynamics here."

Her argument to the governor was that if we can spend billions of dollars to fight the Taliban half a world away, then surely we can put a fraction of that amount to work here at home combatting drug dealers and gangs on the streets of St. Louis.

She added that even though the year's not half over yet, there have been 80-plus murders in St. Louis, and 65 percent of them are likely to go unsolved based on current statistics.